On their wedding night, Barbara Amiel found her third husband dressed and sitting on the bed with marriage contract ready to sign

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In this one area, though, I was a perpetual optimist: around the corner would be my Prince Charming. Ever alert to the possibility of being swept off my feet, the next sweep came unexpectedly when I attended a dull party in Toronto — for which I was very late, possibly because I knew from the tony address that it was bound to be dull. Most of the guests were leaving when I arrived with a current companion from Montreal, a suave and clever Jewish lawyer who felt about me much the way I felt about him: if not Ken and Barbie dolls, we were the matchmakers’ mature Jewish version, so we ought to try this on and see if it works but it’s very unlikely. Besides, he had a much younger French-Canadian girlfriend in his own back garden.

My future third husband, who had just arrived from London, was still at the party. Apart from the slight inconvenience of his being a Roman Catholic, David Graham reeked of eligibility: cosmopolitan manner, late forties, well over six-feet tall, thick silver-ginger hair, very funny, a successful businessman, never married and a walking photo-op in his casual Burberry. Too good to be true. And it was.

The path of true love never runs smooth, but does it have to be a death march, I thought to myself, as I abseiled through my third marriage. The plus was that in 1984 I returned to London with my Canadian, who resided in the U.K. where he enjoyed its numerous theatres, divorcees, splendid restaurants and intoxicating nightlife all enclosed in a fuzzy tax regime for foreign residents. We ploughed through nine months of somewhat tumultuous dating from Calcutta to Paris before we married secretly in Nantucket after a game of tennis I tactfully lost. He then left for his London home while I returned to my job at the Toronto Sun.

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